A calorie is a metric unit of energy now used to refer to energy that we get from food.
Every activity we do, from conscious actions like walking or talking, to unconscious actions like breathing and our hearts beating, are all powered mainly by calories.
So why all the fuss about calories? When we burn less calories than we actually have in our body, the unspent energy gets stored up as fat. For those who want to lose weight, this means that one either has to eat less calories than what their body burns up or exercise more to make sure more calories are burned.
Here are some ways to help you burn calories faster.
Exercise teamed with your daily activities should help you burn your calories faster. Aerobic exercise like brisk walking, jogging, cycling, jump rope boxing and dancing will burn calories faster than you would any other time of the day and its effects would persist even later on.
Cardio exercises like the ones mentioned above, are even better paired with strength and weight training. Muscle exercises also help burn calories faster, more than other body tissues.
Exercise need not be restricted to visits to the gym. Gardening, taking the stairs and doing the chores will all contribute with both cardio exercises and weight training.
Spread Out Your Meals
Instead of eating three big meals in a day, spread out your meals into six smaller-sized portions. Not only will this help with your blood sugar levels, but it will also help your body burn the calories that come with the meals more efficiently.
Improve Your After-Meal Burn
After meal burn is the term used for the calorie burn your body produces right after you eat. The after meal burn can take up at least 200 calories per meal. If improved upon, your after meal burn can even burn more calories.
To encourage a bigger after meal burn, eat more vegetables and lay off the meat and dairy products. Studies have shown that fibrous fruit, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and low-fat meat generate a bigger after meal burn.
Vegetarians in fact have been shown to have a bigger after meal burn than their normal meat-eating counterparts.
Don’t Starve Yourself
Metabolism is a key element in burning calories. A fast metabolism means that your body burns up calories faster. Starving yourself or eating less calories than you should slows down your metabolism and signals to your brain to store up more fat to survive. Eat smartly and moderately, and you’ll be fine.
A combination of exercise, spreading out your meals and improving your after meal burn will give you an edge against those who wish to lose weight. You don’t need to resort to fad diets or eating disorders after this!